This is an amazing video compiled from a camera located on the booster of the Space Shuttle as it launches. Watch as the booster carries the shuttle into space and then re-enters the atmosphere to fall into the sea. It’s worth turning up the sound to get a feel for the emptiness of space. I’m both amazed and humbled by how far we’ve come and how small we really are.
As a lover of retro-futurist illustration, I recently came across a presentation (via Boing Boing) by Illustrator/Artist Bruce McCall. He does a great job of putting to words the reason I love retro-futurist art – the optimistic, over-the-top and sometimes ridiculous illustration like that found on the covers of Popular Mechanics in the 30′s, 40′s and 50′s. He’s also designed a few of the wittier New Yorker covers, one of which was put to animation by the talent at Smiley Guy Studios. You can watch the presentation here.
I added several series to my Netflix que, especially shows I never got to watch consistently.
Here’s a summary of the original 3 movies. From someone who hasn’t seen it (with visuals added for entertainment). Thanks, io9
For all my fellow Battlestar Galactica fans, io9 has posted 7 deleted scenes from Battlestar’s 4th season that help clarify some loose ends. Whether you’re seeking enlightenment from the church of BSG, or just looking for some geek trivia to share with your friends when the show (finally) returns next year, these are a must see.
And if your a scifi dork like me and don’t already know about io9, take a look around while you’re there. There’s plenty of geeky-goodness amongst their pages.
Thanks to io9 and Michael.
I’ve started collecting a few books on “futurism” from the 50′s, 60′s, and 70′s. I love the illustrations and ideas about the future from a time when mankind was just going to the moon. It seems there was no limit to where they thought we’d be 100 years from now (then). Matt over at Paleo-Future has posted a clip from the DVD History of Spaceflight featuring Wernher von Braun‘s ideas of the future of spaceflight. Check out the post for more retro-futurist images.
Arthur C Clarke, the author of 2001: A Space Odyssey, died yesterday at the age of 90. Though he wasn’t my favorite author, anyone who loves science fiction should at least have read some of his work. I’ve read the entire 2001 series (2010, 2061, 3001), as well as the Rama series.
Another lesser-known work was The Songs of Distant Earth, which was also an album by Mike Oldfield released in 1994. I stumbled across this album during the Enigma era, while looking for more of the same style. I bought the Enhanced CD, which included some pretty cool CGI video that accompanied the ethnic chants and trippy ambient rhythms of the album.
I think I need to dig up the CD and remember a sci fi genius.
“Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.”
- Arthur C Clarke
Kirsten Anderson over at Right Some Good has posted some great art by fellow artist Brian Despain. His work has the sort of tone I love (a la steampunk/Myst) and features another geek fav – robots! What more could you ask for. I’d hang this on my wall.
Perhaps I should check into that…
Meanwhile, check out Brian Despain’s website .
Wanderer of Space, Vargo Statten, 1950 Scion / Planet Stories, Summer 1941, Love Romances
I just finished reading Worlds of Tomorrow – The Amazing Universe of Science Fiction Art by Forrest J Ackerman. I picked it up at Half Price Books a couple of weeks ago. I’ve been trying to learn more about design and art from the 1800′s up through the 50′s, 60′s, and 70′s, especially involving predictions of the future.There are several magazines that were published in 30′s, 40′s and 50′s that featured science fiction shorts by sci fi greats like Isaac Asimov, H.G. Wells, and Robert Heinlein. They had titles like Wonder Stories Quarterly, Amazing Stories, and Startling Stories. The cover art was just as fantastic as the stories within. Worlds of Tomorrow features these covers and includes narrative about the history of the culture and writers that envisioned them.
If your a sci fi fan or a fan of sci fi art; or even if you are just looking for a good laugh, check out this book.
I shared these two because half-naked women were a staple of many of these covers. I just thought it was interesting to see half naked men for a change. I’m just not sure how practical a g-string would be for wandering space, or riding dragons. And how about the name “Dragon Queen”?
There’s a certain class of design I’ve always been attracted to; I find it fascinating to see how the past saw the future, either the one that has come and gone, or is still yet to be (or not to be). My favorite sci fi reads are those heavy with scientific speculation on the big questions… faster-than-light travel, moving stars, encountering bewilderingly advanced species. But I also enjoy classic sci fi like Isaac Asimov and Robert Heinlein. More than just the plots, I love to see how the greatest scientific imaginations of their time saw the future. It often comes out as a mix of new ideas blended with now outdated ones; like a man traveling home from work in his self-driving car only to be greeted by his wife who meets him at the door with a cocktail, a back rub and dinner on the table.
I also love to explore design from yesteryear looking forward. Interestingly, this often comes back to Disney’s Imagineering. But thanks to great finds like Paleo-Future, I can finally get my fill of this odd attraction. And what an apt name for something I’ve been unable to easily define.
So here’s to the Paleo-Future and the future that never was! And to commemorate the occasion, here’s a great sample, “Transportation Exhibits at the New York World’s Fair (1964)”
I’m not really into following the Oscars thing, but one overlooked category I always love to check out is the animated and short films. Atomfilms has a “Hall of Fame” featuring Oscar-nominated shorts. If you’re into design and especially animation, check these out. Here’s the most recent nominee, “The Cathedral”, which is computer graphics based and is reminiscent of the “movies” between gameplay in most video games. Although this is by far better quality.
Here’s another great drawing from Eric Poulton, the re-imagined Death Star from Star Wars. I guess I just like this style so much I had to share. As I’ve said, it’s so reminiscent of the Myst style of Robyn Miller.
And I love this footnote from Eric’s post:
“As it has not yet been discovered a way for machines to directly generate Force energy, it must be supplied by a powerful Force user. The user conjures the energy inside of a specially designed resonance chamber which amplifies the energy before directing it through a series of lenses to produce a powerful coherent beam of unimaginably destructive energy.”
Stumbled across a very cool series of drawings by Eric Poulton of Star Wars in the “Steam Punk” style. Now, being neophyte that I am to the Steam Punk style, I had never even heard the term before. But seeing the drawings, I realize I’ve seen it many times, and it apparently is one of my favorites. It reminds me a bit darker twist on the design of the Myst series.
Also check out his additional posts which include a very good Jabba the Hut complete with feathered hat.
Very cool, indeed.
I love to read (mostly Sci Fi), and have been selling my books to Half Price Books after reading them. But I just found out about a new creation from ::wikipedia(“John Buckman”, “John Buckman”):: called Book Mooch. You can earn points by offering your own books for trade, and in return receive books form other users. I reminds me of the circle of friends my mom used to share sacks of books with… they’d initial the inside cover of the books they’d read and then swap.
I’ve yet to receive my first book, but I’m sure this’ll be the start of something fun and worthwhile! So check it out!
Illustration credit Andrice Arp
Worth1000.com has some great Photoshop contests. A recent one was for UFOs, and I think this is one of the best. It as a bit of a Myst feel, which has some fantastic art. Check out the rest of the contest entries; and if you don’t already, check back at Worth1000.com for other great Photoshop contests.